Data is getting a facelift in 2023 courtesy of event-driven architecture (EDA). These four technologies are set to transform DevOps and IT operations over the next year–whether it be how companies make use of data or the customer experience they offer.
1. Applied Observability: A Powerful Source of Decision-Making
Applied observability has been recognized by Gartner as a key 2023 strategic tech trend at its most recent Orlando Symposium. It ensures that the right data is delivered at the right time for rapid action based on confirmed stakeholder actions rather than intentions. “Observable” data include key digitized artifacts that appear when any stakeholder takes any kind of action. Applied observability feeds these observable artifacts back in a highly orchestrated and integrated approach to accelerate organizational decision-making and allows the business owner to track how long an action took to fully process at every point in the workflow.
But unearthing these insights requires an event-driven approach to software architecture. Distributed tracing, for example, is a method of tracking application requests as they flow from front-end devices to back-end services and databases. By definition, and in contrast to traditional tracing, distributed tracing can be visualized to show a searchable, graphical picture of when, where and how a single event flowed through an enterprise, regardless of the number of hops the workflow took to fully process.
Consider the potential traceability and end-to-end observability benefits across a payment ecosystem underpinned by EDA. Embedding distributed tracing into an event mesh emits trace events in OpenTelemetry format so banks can collect, visualize and analyze them in any compatible tool. This empowers them to not only confirm that a given message was published but easily understand exactly when and by whom, where it went, down to individual hops, who received it and when … or why not.
2. Hyper and Intelligent Automation: Taking Automation to the Next Level
Gartner and IDC identified both hyper and intelligent automation in their yearly technology trends for 2023. Hyperautomation moves automation up a level, adding more intelligence to automation and using a broader set of tools so that previously un-automatable tasks can be automated. Hyperautomation initiatives come in many different shapes and sizes and are being seen across a wide range of industries, from banking and insurance to manufacturing and health care.
But hyperautomation requires an organization to be underpinned by an EDA and–more specifically, an event mesh–to maximize success. An event mesh is an interconnected network of event brokers that allows data to be pushed in real-time to parts of the organization where the data is needed. It does this dynamically, meaning that new event types can be added at any time and interest in events can be registered to allow a seamless interchange of data for the applications that are interested in using it.
Take the aviation industry as an example. An event mesh streams information such as flight routes, delays, cancellations and mileage accruals between applications, connected devices and people anywhere in the world, instantly. With an event mesh, information about events can be continuously streamed to multiple systems; filtered so each system only receives the data it needs. This ultimately enhances the customer experience as passengers, pilots and crews are notified in real-time when something relevant occurs on each and every flight.
3. The Acceleration of the Event-Driven API Economy
The API economy has exploded. Research from MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy showed that over a four-year period, businesses using APIs saw 12.7% more growth in market capitalization compared to those that did not adopt APIs.
But the API economy is changing as event-driven architecture and asynchronous event-driven APIs become increasingly important to companies striving to operate in real-time. Using both synchronous and asynchronous methods can result in an application environment in which system resources are most effectively used.
AsyncAPI and RESTful APIs will be the next evolution of the API economy. API management platforms will need to adapt quickly to this new reality. As a prime example, Forrester recently spotlighted a global biotech company that is blazing a trail in the API-driven area. As the case study demonstrates, the organization understood that EDA is a complement to RESTful APIs–another tool in their digital business toolbox, filling in the gaps of a REST-only approach.
As a result, they planned a unified event + REST approach from the outset. Both APIs and events are managed as enabling digital products, with the governance and life cycle of both unified as one process. A platform team builds a unified API + event platform for app dev teams rather than building each as a separate siloed platform. The results include faster speed to market and new business opportunities. The company also embraces FAIR data principles: Data that is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. A digital marketplace consisting of both events and APIs makes the data findable and machine-readable via Open API Spec (OAS) and AsyncAPI metadata. Data can then be accessed on demand via APIs and events push data in real-time.
4. The Metaverse Continues at Pace
Driven by technologies including digital twins, augmented reality and virtual reality, McKinsey estimates the metaverse will be worth $5 trillion by 2030. Data in real-time will be the vital common denominator to link the digital and physical divide and optimize the Metaverse. McKinsey lists real-time data as a vital element to facilitate adoption of the metaverse in several key industries including retail, banking/financial services and transportation.
The metaverse cannot be static. It needs to be in real-time, in motion. It needs an EDA and a real-time event mesh to support it.
For example, if an avatar visits a retailer in the metaverse, the retailer will need to keep track of countless user actions such as how long someone spent looking at a particular product, which products got the most interest, etc. The metaverse will produce a significant amount of data that companies will be interested in analyzing in real-time. This data can be used to make decisions from real-time adjustments to inventory to incentivizing commerce through real-time offers/discounts/coupons and even dynamically pricing products.
Designing a Data-Driven Future With new Tech
Together, these four predictions have the potential to revolutionize company operations, communications and decision-making–but to take advantage of their full potential and reap success, these four trends will need EDA by their side.